How to open a card and bank account in Turkey? My personal experience

How to open a card and a bank account in Turkey? My personal experience

I don't even know what else awaits us. There were shopping tours to Milan, vaccine tourism too, now tours for issuing Visa and Mastercard cards in foreign banks have begun to appear.

In this text, I will talk about my independent experience of opening a bank account abroad in Turkey . Without a local residence permit (I'm just a visiting tourist), with a Russian passport and in one day.Now I have a magical Mastercard that works all over the world and with which I can pay for online subscriptions, buy flights and even accept swift dollar transfers from relatives in Russia (upd: now from myself too).

There are several banks where you can open a card in Turkey for a non-resident. Everyone has the same questions and difficulties – both in opening an account and using a card.

Can Russians open a card in Turkey?

Yes, Turkish banks opened accounts for Russians without a residence permit even before the events of February 2022. Even now, despite the unprecedented flow of applicants. The only thing is that you cannot open a card in Turkey remotely. You have to walk with your feet, stand in lines and communicate in Turkish or English.

Not all banks welcome new foreign clients with open arms. Moreover, even in different branches of the same bank, you may be denied the first one, and accepted the second one.

My friend went through 4 branches in Istanbul in a day and was refused everywhere. I flew to Antalya and without any questions submitted documents at the first office of the same bank! This does not mean that it is no longer possible to open a plastic card in Istanbul – after all, I did it a week after his adventures.

I want to say something important:TRY. Try in Istanbul, try in Antalya, but at least in Izmir. Go through 3, 5, 10 offices, don't give up after failures. The process of opening an account is simple. The difficulty lies in finding the right branch. And, perhaps, in communication in English or through a translator on the phone, they do not serve in Russian here.

P.S. and see the comments on the article, readers share useful tips on where and how they opened their cards!

< strong>You can only issue a debit card, in most cases multi-currency (lira, dollars, euros and, according to the latest comments from readers, rubles) and with a deposit. That is, for 1–3 months, the money you deposit will be are frozen in the account and cannot be spent. These are the conditions. And the size of the deposit and its currency do not even depend on the bank, but on the branch or a specific manager. These are the realities.

Here are three banks that regularly issue cards to Russians in 2022:

  • Denizbank
  • Ziraat Bankasi
  • VakifBank

< p>Deposit requirements vary.
Today they can announce an amount of 10 thousand lire, and tomorrow – already 50 thousand; $5,000 or $10,000; €2000 or €5000. The most comfortable deposit of 10,000 lira (about 60,000 rubles) is in Denizbank. In Ziraat, most often they ask from 30 thousand lira, and in Vakif it also happens that you need to pay only 500-1000 lira for issuing a card. I’ll immediately say about the minus of Vakif: all international payments go through lira, even if your main account is in dollars. And in Ziraat, apparently, too. There is no such thing in Deniz.

The fact is that there is no clear regulation, and the manager determines the amount of the deposit. One pattern I've noticed from my experience and online discussions is that if the bank does not want to open an account or has exceeded the plan/quota for non-residents (if any), then it will either refuse directly or set a condition of 10 thousand dollars. Although, conditionally, yesterday I opened that guy from the chat for 10,000 lyre

See. Arriving in Istanbul at the end of March, I had already read chats and forums on the topic “how to open a bank card abroad” and was sure that there was nothing to catch in the city, everything was sorted out by IT people. But still I went to the nearest office of Denizbank, where the employee agreed to accept the documents upon making a deposit of $5,000 or 50,000 lira. A good sign, I thought, at least not rebuffed. But too much for a deposit. I walked for about fifteen minutes to another Deniz … and then my aspirations and managerial plans for attracting clients coincided. We concluded a mutually beneficial agreement and sealed it with a Mastercard plastic card (which, however, has many disadvantages, which I will discuss below).

What documents will you definitely need to open a card in a Turkish bank:

  • International passport
  • Russian passport
  • Turkish Inn (done in two accounts)

Another sim card and cash for a deposit. Residence permit is not required. Deniz issues personalized plastic on the same day. Ziraat and Vakif are releasing unnamed ones, in 5–7 days you need to come to pick up the name one.

How to open a bank account in Turkey? My Experience

How to open a card and bank account in Turkey? My personal experience

How to open a card and a bank account in Turkey? My personal experience

Here is my personal experience on how to open a Turkish bank account for a Russian citizen.

What you need to do BEFORE going to the bank:

  • Make a Turkish TIN.This is a simple online application that assigns you a local tax number. Here is the site: I advise you to fill out from a laptop. In the column “Address” you can write anything in Turkey, I left the address of the hotel. In the “Phone number” column, you can enter a foreign number, but without a telephone country code. Fill everything in Latin and CAPITAL LETTERS, because in Turkey there are misunderstandings with the letter i, caps lock will help to avoid them.

How to open a card and a bank account in Turkey? My personal experience

This is how the main page of the site for obtaining a TIN looks like. I marked the required box with arrows

  • Buy a local SIM card.Operators Turkcell, Vodafone – no difference. Good price – 300 lire for 20 GB of internet. If you are in Turkey for a couple of days, try opening an account with your Russian number. But be prepared that activation SMS may not come (this mainly applies to Megafon or Tele2; MTS and Beeline work fine). Then you have to rebind to the local one at the bank branch. It's the same story with international sims like DrimSim, as a reader wrote in the comments below. Another thing is that a Turkish SIM card works only for 90 days, and even returning to Russia, anyway, I personally will have to change the number to a Russian one. UPD: I successfully changed it in my branch to my native Beeline, everything works and SMS comes.
  • Withdraw cash for a deposit. Lira, dollars, euros, whatever you want. You cannot transfer money to a deposit, you can only deposit cash. Our text about the Mir card will tell you where to withdraw lira from it in Turkey.
  • It is possible to make a certified translation of a Russian passport.Rarely, but sometimes they ask. I would only do it if the bank told me so. In this case, you need to go to a translation agency (notar), translate and certify your passport. At a cost of approximately 250-300 liras.

I opened an account with Denizbank in Istanbul with a deposit of 10,000 liras for 1 month at a rate of 17.5%. To open by default, they suggested Mastercard (probably, there should be Visa, but I didn’t ask).

How it happened:

1. Came to the bank branch and informed the guard about his intention. They sent me to the manager on the second floor – I spoke with him through Google translator in Turkish (few people here speak English). He made photocopies of the passport of the Russian Federation and foreign countries, thus compiling an application, and … said to come the next day, today there are no places. It was after lunch, so if you come in the morning, the probability of receiving a card on the same day is higher. I made an account at the Kasimpasa branch; and here is a link to the branch in Antalya, where it turned out to open the map to a friend

2. The next day I was at the department at 9:00. Further, the standard procedures for concluding an agreement and entering data. By the way, the bank needs your registration address in Russia, it is driven into the system. I was asked to simply write by hand in transliteration, but someone is required to provide a certified translation.

3. About 45 minutes in the chair where I signed everything and downloaded the bank's mobile application, a couple of minutes at the cash desk where I deposited 10,000 lira in cash for a deposit and another 1,000 for spending, and they gave me a physical card with a chip and my name, valid until 2030. The card is tied to an account in lira, euros and dollars – everything can be withdrawn at the bank's ATMs. There are no rubles and there never is. The application is adequate and understandable at first glance, there is an English language.

On this, the quest called “is it possible to open a map in Turkey” is over, with a positive outcome. I immediately paid at the coffee shop, withdrew some lira from Deniz's ATM – everything worked. In the evening I paid for Netflix (I have a Turkish account), the service accepted the card. And such grace spilled over the body…

It would seem that I am now a happy person. With a bank card legitimate in the eyes of the whole world. But in less than a month, I talked to Deniz's support team for an hour or more, and went to the office three times. Because Turkish banking is one of a kind… and this is not at all about the convenience of Tinkoff. Now I will devote a whole section to it.

By the way, opening Union Pay in Turkey does not make sense, someone on the forums asks why. About virtual cards too, it doesn’t feel like this here – I couldn’t even link my Denizbank card to ApplePay.

My experience with using a Deniz bank card – pros and cons

How to open a card and a bank account in Turkey? My personal experience

First things first! notify the Russian tax authorities about opening an account in Turkey? Of course. Ten times yes. Somehow I missed the deadline (1 month) with a foreign brokerage account, I had to pay a fine (1000 rubles).

Let's start with the pluses.

+ The card is free to maintain – in the comments to the article I left a screen with all the possible commissions of Deniz.

+ The card is multicurrency – you can operate with dollars, euros and lira.

+ Swift-transfers from Russia reach! That is, in accordance with the new law of the Russian Federation, you can send up to $150,000 to your foreign account, and they will come to Deniz's card without any problems. We go to the cashier and cash out. A Tinkoff card is ideal here, this can be said to be the only large bank in Russia that allows you to make such a payment (Sberbank, VTB, Alfa, Otkritie – everything is past). I received the money on the same day. I suspect that the swift will be fine from other countries as well.
UPD: conditions have worsened, and swifts from Tinkoff are now allowed FROM $20,000. online and offline no more than 30,000 lira ($1800); for withdrawals from ATMs no more than 5,000 lira ($300). A large amount of currency can be withdrawn at the cash desk of any bank branch.

+ There is an English-speaking support service! They say that there are also Russian-speaking employees for Russians … I'm not sure. UPD: there really is, but they only work during business hours.

+ A good mobile app.

+ You can convert dollars into lira or euros at a good bank rate inside the app.

+ Smart ATMs: if a withdrawal is requested in lira, the money is debited from the lira account, and if in dollars, then from the dollar account. No need to switch in app.

+ You can pay for online subscriptions. To do this, you need to make Yes opposite Internet Transactions in the application or call the hotline and ask an employee. For some reason, by default, the operation of the card for foreign online services is disabled in the settings.

+ You can freely pay in Turkey and abroad (I personally checked it in Europe).

+ Yes, all anything can be done with cards of Turkish banks (not only Deniz, but also Ziraat, Vakif), but WITH TWO HUGE BOLD BUT.

How to open a card and a bank account in Turkey? My personal experience

And this:

– Cards of any Turkish banks prohibit transactions over 1000 lira on sites without 3d-secure! Let me explain: you will not be able to pay more than 1,000 lira ($58) on services where there is no SMS confirmation of payment; who hold money and write off later. This basket includes at least Airbnb, Booking, if you choose the option to pay on the site, and the low-cost airline in Europe Easyjet (we found this out by experience, buying tickets for two; but it’s good that one ticket fits into the limit and you just need to pay separately) .

– Stupid system for changing spending limits!

Never, please, NEVER set limits for Deniz's card, as in Tinkoff. By default, the limit is 30,000 lira per day for purchases. I decided, well, you never know, I will protect myself, I will bet 500 lire. Subsequently, I learned that it is possible to reduce the limit on your own, but not to raise it! Moreover, this issue cannot be resolved with the support service by phone, you need to go to the branch. And not in the nearest to you, but in WHERE YOU OPENED THE CARD and write an application to increase the limit. I opened an account in Istanbul. Now I am in Antalya. Do I need to describe the degree of my indignation at this bank policy or add that a ticket to Istanbul costs 550 lira?

UPD: solved the issue with the restoration of the limit. After 10 calls to the help desk, 3 submissions, 7 visits to the Antalya branch and 3 handwritten claims faxed to the Istanbul branch! Do you think these steps helped? No, luck helped: the Istanbul office needed a piece of data from me, and they simply could not ignore my additionally attached application.

UPD2: the limit was raised not to the standard 30,000 lira per day, but to 5,000 lira. I had to write 4 more applications in my branch in Istanbul. And even swear, because after the third piece of paper and the assurance that “everything, we definitely changed,” I saw that changes had taken place in … the limit for withdrawing from ATMs. The fourth statement has finally done its job, now everything is in order.

UPD3: in the comments, the reader left an easier way to change the limit if you are in Turkey, but far from your home office – write an application to change the service department .

Where to see your limits (but don't touch):
1. Open the desktop version of the online bank (from a computer or laptop).
2. In the mobile application – even before entering your login and password! – click on Quick Menu; and then select QR Transactions and then Login to Internet Bank.
3. In the window from the first paragraph, generate a qr-code to enter and “read” it with the application.
4. Inside, on the lira account, there is a footnote with limits for purchases and withdrawals.

By the way, you will also need to enter the desktop version for swift transfers FROM a Turkish bank to other countries. Only there you can make such a transfer (or personally at the branch).

From the smaller minuses:

– Turkish cards do not support Apple Pay, and they cannot pay for the same Icloud.< br> – Paypass (contactless payment) can be used no more than 5 times a day or for a total amount of 500 lira. Next, you need to insert the card into the terminal and enter the pincode, then the limit will be reset to zero.
— Fee for a swift transfer from Russia to Turkey by Deniz — $0.5% of the total amount of the transfer. No comment. There is the same fee for sending a swift from Deniz.
— Daily limit of $300 and €300 for ATM withdrawals.
— The fee for the US visa also failed to pay.

As a result . It is possible for a Russian to open a card in Turkey. Even a tourist. All you need is your desire, perseverance and a certain amount of cash, which the bank will gladly accept – Denizbank, Ziraat or Vakif. Turkish bank cards are good in some ways, frankly bad in others. Now for me it is suitable for swift transfers, paying for online subscriptions and just to maintain solvency in Turkey. However, I am not at all satisfied with the limits for payments without 3d-secure – what to do with them at all? After all, even Airbnb or a hotel with late payment cannot be booked.

In a word, we observe and adapt further. Maybe you, at the time of reading the article, know a way to more comfortably interact with the Turkish card? Write in the comments and ask any questions.

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